Wednesday, March 29, 2023
March 29, 2023

Linkedin Pinterest

Shooter found dead in Blandford Canyon; 1 victim critical

Emergency scenes throughout county after multiple connected shootings

4 Photos
Police block off East Evergreen Boulevard near North Blandford Drive on Oct.
Police block off East Evergreen Boulevard near North Blandford Drive on Oct. 31 to contain shooting suspect John Kendall. Photo Gallery

o Neighbors describe growing tension: Dispute between Mounces, Kendall dates to late 2012

o Mounce, husband of victim, describes shooting, aftermath

A Vancouver man shot his neighbor at an intersection north of Vancouver on Friday morning, sending all available police on an hourslong search for the gunman that ended when he was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

John B. Kendall, 59, was identified as the man who opened fired on his neighbor, Abigail Mounce, 33, at about 8:30 a.m. as she was driving near the intersection of Northeast 63rd Street and Andresen Road, according to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office and Mounce’s family.

Kendall and Mounce had been in a protracted legal dispute, with Mounce and her husband alleging that Kendall violated subdivision restrictions by renting rooms in his six-bedroom home.

The shots were reportedly fired from a vehicle to another vehicle, according to the emergency radio traffic.

Police converged on the intersection near Vancouver Fire Department Station 5.

Abigail Mounce was shot in the face and was immediately driven to the hospital by her husband, Erich Mounce.

“I don’t know if John was in pursuit of us or not,” Erich Mounce said to the Columbian.

Abigail Mounce is at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center where she is listed in critical condition. An online fundraiser was set up by her sister at to help pay medical expenses. The page said Abigail Mounce was undergoing facial reconstructive surgery and would have a long recovery ahead.

The Clark County Sheriff’s Office deputies who responded quickly identified Kendall as the suspected gunman and deployed all available units to the places he may have gone, broadcasting a description of his car, a silver 2002 Buick Regal.

The incidents that followed unfolded in multiple locations over more than two hours, straining local law enforcement and drawing the attention of thousands of people.

Kendall and Abigail and Erich Mounce were due in court at 9 a.m. for a hearing on their civil lawsuit, so authorities put the Clark County Courthouse on lockdown.

Law enforcement also swarmed and locked down the H.H. Hall Building, off Northeast 99th Street in Hazel Dell, which houses the office for the Mounce’s attorney, Denise Lukins.

Thirteen schools in Vancouver Public Schools were put on lockdown, starting with Walnut Grove Elementary, located within a block of the initial shooting, at 8:32 a.m.

Shooting, search’s end

During the following hour, numerous calls and tips came in from residents. Adding to the confusion, however, was a report of a possible gunman firing at passing motorists on state Highway 14, said sheriff’s office Sgt. Fred Neiman. The highway was closed in both directions beginning at 9:51 a.m. and lasting for about an hour.

Neiman said that the report was unfounded and that the reporting person mistook what they saw as a threat instead of a member of the ongoing police activity in the area.

“We believe it was a probably some well-meaning individual reporting a SWAT officer, law enforcement,” Neiman said.

By 9:35 a.m., police received a 911 call of a suspicious vehicle near North Blandford Drive and East Evergreen Boulevard.

While officers swarmed the area, an officer reportedly shot a person in the area, resulting in injuries described as not serious, Neiman said. It was not clear how that person, whose identity was not released, was involved in the incident, Neiman said.

He would not say if the person was armed, as it would be a portion of the investigation into the officer-involved shooting.

No officers were shot or injured during the incident.

A police dog was called to the scene, which is in an area of heavy brush, and the situation ended an hour later when police found Kendall deceased. Neiman did not say how Kendall died, but several officers reported via the emergency radio scanner that Kendall had died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

“Dog’s away!” a handler called out on the scanner.

“Dog’s at him. … Stand by!

“Dog’s on the bite. … No movement from suspect!”

Gunshots heard

Mollie Hands, who lives in The Trees trailer park where the second shooting incident occurred, said she heard several shots outside just after 9 a.m.

“I was feeding my worms when I heard five or six shots,” said Hands, who has a worm farm for composting. “I went outside, and it sounded like something was going on over by the bridge. After that I heard everyone yelling at me to go back inside.”

At one point, sometime around 10 a.m., she saw two officers hiding behind a tree in her yard looking into Blandford Canyon with binoculars.

“About a half hour after that I hear one shot,” Hands said. “Apparently it was the guy, and he killed himself.”

Police were cordoning off an area by her yard with tape at around 11 a.m.

“It’s really sad to think something like this could happen,” Hands said. “And right outside my window.”

Columbian reporters Sue Vorenberg, Justin Runquist, Marissa Harshman, Eric Florip, Tom Vogt and Craig Brown contributed to this report.